It is now  one hundred and thirty years since the birth of the Mennonite Brethren Church and therefore time for someone in that church to take a backward glance to see how things have developed. Who better to do this John B. Toews. His life spans well over half of those years and he has experienced much of what he writes.
"JB" as he is affectionately known by both students and colleagues is a patriarchal figure in the Mennonite Brethren Church. Born in Ukraine, the Russian Revolution and its aftermath were the crucible that shaped his youth and young adult years. After studying in Western Europe, Toews immigrated to Canada in the late 1920s.
Much of his life has been in Mennonite Brethren educational institutions in Canada and the United States. During ten years as Executive Secretary of the Mennonite Brethren Board of Missions he traveled widely and came to know Mennonite Brethren people around the world. In between educational and mission administrative responsibilities he pastored in Kansas and California. After retiring from the presidency of the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary he became the founding Director of the Historical Commission of the Mennonite Brethren Church.